Published: Thursday, 18 November 2021 12:42
A Rocket Lab Electron rocket lifts off Nov. 17 carrying two BlackSky satellites. Credit: Rocket Lab
LAS VEGAS — Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket placed two BlackSky imaging satellites into orbit Nov. 17 on the rocket’s first launch in three and a half months.
The Electron lifted off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, at 8:38 p.m. Eastern. The rocket’s kick stage deployed two BlackSky Gen-2 satellites into orbits at an altitude of 430 kilometers nearly an hour later. BlackSky later confirmed both satellites were operating as expected after deployment.
The launch, called “Love At First Insight” by Rocket Lab, was the first for the Electron since July 29, when it carried a payload for the U.S. Space Force. Pandemic-related lockdowns in New Zealand in recent months pushed back the launches, including a series of three consecutive launches for BlackSky it announced in August through launch services provider Spaceflight.
The launch was also the third Electron mission to test the ability to recover and reuse the rocket’s first stage. On this mission, a helicopter monitored the descending booster as it splashed down in preparation for future missions where that helicopter will attempt to capture the booster in midair.
That test was a success, the company said. “This is our third successful proof of concept recovery mission, and further cements Electron as the leading launch vehicle for the small satellite market,” Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, said in a statement. “We are all excited to move onto the next phase of reusability next year; catching Electron in the air with a helicopter.”
The next Electron launch, “A Data With Destiny,” is scheduled in December and will carry another pair of BlackSky satellites. That will be the sixth and final Electron launch of 2021, but company executives said in a Nov. 15 earnings call that they expected a higher flight rate in 2022.
NASA delays spacewalk following space debris alert
Рустам Гулов Просмотров: 155
Hubble Spots Beautiful Planetary Nebula: NGC 6891
Вадим Дудченко Просмотров: 125
Kymeta plans to release OneWeb terminal by next summer
Волошина Екатерина Просмотров: 96
Perching Bird-Like Robot Developed
Вадим Дудченко Просмотров: 93
India’s Chandrayaan-2 maneuvered to avoid close approach to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Волошина Екатерина Просмотров: 34
NASA to launch latest mission to test laser communication in space
Рустам Гулов Просмотров: 33
Astra ready for commercial operations after first successful launch
Волошина Екатерина Просмотров: 255
Psychedelic Drugs Helping Veterans with PTSD
Волошина Екатерина Просмотров: 225
Lung Cancer Survival Rate Improves but Still Low
Волошина Екатерина Просмотров: 172
NASA launches spacecraft to crash into asteroid
Рустам Гулов Просмотров: 159
Has no connect to show!